“It’s much more stressful and more emotional,” one funeral director said.March 29, 2020, 1:00 PM5 min read Funeral homes are learning to navigate a new normal of mourning under the novel coronavirus pandemic, as long-cherished embraces have been barred and memorials must be limited in size and scope. For Thomas Pirro Jr., a funeral director in Syracuse, New York, not being able to comfort mourners has been one of the most challenging aspects. “To see someone standing by themselves sobbing is heart wrenching,” Pirro told ABC News on Saturday. “Losing a loved one is stressful and emotional under normal circumstances. To add this — the safe-distance factor and limited number of people that are allowed — it’s much more stressful and more emotional than ever.” As the coronavirus, or COVID-19, continues to spread rapidly throughout the United States, states have responded by closing non-essential businesses, postponing public gatherings and urging the public to practice social distancing, which means individuals should leave 6 feet between themselves and others. Whether funeral homes are deemed essential businesses is determined state by state. The National Funeral Directors Association put out guidance for homes that remained open to limit memorials to immediate family. Pirro said


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